The Russian State Duma on Thursday approved amendments to a bill entitled “On Mass Media,” designating individuals who communicate with foreign media outlets as “foreign agents.”
Since 2012 there have been a number of restrictive laws created regarding the country’s interactions with the international community. The Russian government has already required foreign entities such as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to label themselves as foreign agents when entering, communicating or interacting with citizens of the country.
The new legislation must be approved by President Vladimir Putin in order to become law. This amendment would allow Russian authorities to investigate citizens for any information they spread to international media outlets. Independent journalists within the country would have to officially register with the Ministry of Justice. Media outlets that do not comply with this legislation could be fined up to USD $79,000 for breaking this law.